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July 26 hearing scheduled on picket law for funerals

LOCKPORT -- The Niagara County Legislature on Tuesday scheduled a July 26 public hearing on a law that would make it illegal to picket within 1,000 feet of a funeral less than an hour before or after the service.

The resolution was introduced in response to a March decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that declared the First Amendment to the Constitution protects the legality of picketing at funerals of soldiers killed overseas.

"When America's sons and daughters come home from war as the honored dead, we have to make sure they are indeed the honored dead," said Legislator Brittany I. Catchpole, D-Town of Niagara.

She denounced the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union for opposing the resolution.



Second time is the charm as budget, referendum pass

MEDINA -- Residents of the Medina Central School District gave their approval to a revised 2011-12 school budget in a referendum Tuesday, 364-175. They also approved a bond issue for the purchase of five school buses, 331-199.

The School Board trimmed about $90,000 from the original $32,945,782 budget that the voters rejected in May. The new plan will spend less than 1 percent more than last year.

The buses -- two 66-passenger models, two eight-passenger vans and a 22-passenger model -- will cost a total of $294,000, of which $267,320 is covered by state aid.



Social studies teacher takes oath as legislator

LOCKPORT -- Cheree J. Copelin, a social studies teacher at LaSalle Preparatory School in Niagara Falls, was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of the Niagara County Legislature.

Copelin, 31, a Republican, was chosen as 5th District legislator. Four candidates were interviewed by a three-member committee Saturday for the appointment to replace Legislator Vincent M. Sandonato, R-Niagara Falls. He resigned, effective Monday, to attend law school.

In a vote Tuesday, Copelin defeated John P. Briglio, 14-2. Briglio, who is Copelin's dean of students at LaSalle Prep, is the endorsed Democratic candidate for this fall's election in the LaSalle district. Democrats Dennis F. Virtuoso and Renae Kimble of the Falls voted for Briglio.



Niagara Falls Family YMCA showcases newest camp today

WHEATFIELD -- The Niagara Falls Family YMCA will host a Summer Camp Open House today at its newest camp location: the Wheatfield Town Youth Center at 2800 Church Road.

The open house will run from 3 to 7 p.m. and is free. Tours of the facility will be provided and parents will have a chance to meet with "Y" camp staff to ask any questions they may have about summer camp programs.

YMCA day camps offer programs and extended hours for children ages 3 to 14. For more information, call the Niagara Falls "Y" at 285-8491 or visit

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